Minister Donohoe launches end of year Tourism Ireland campaign with Phil Spencer

18th November, 2014

Tourism Ireland extends successful promotion with Phil Spencer and Classic FM to reach 7 million potential holidaymakers across Britain


Tourism Minister, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Tuesday) announced a new, six-week, end-of-year promotional campaign in Britain – targeting prospective holidaymakers for short breaks to Ireland. The campaign aims to boost late-season travel to Ireland, capitalising on the +9% growth in British visitors so far this year, and to kick-start the promotional effort for 2015 in this important tourism market.


The new campaign sees Tourism Ireland team up once again with popular TV personality Phil Spencer and Classic FM, Britain’s most popular classical radio station. Phil Spencer was in Dublintoday, filming at some of our iconic tourist attractions – including Christ Church Cathedral, Merrion Square and Georgian Dublin and the National Gallery.


The footage of Phil Spencer in Dublin will be incorporated with footage from a similar, successful initiative in September – when Tourism Ireland partnered with Classic FM to produce a ‘cultural tour of the island of Ireland’, through four separate videos.


The new, six-week campaign will reach more than seven million Classic FM ‘culturally curious’ listeners – who have been identified as a key target audience for the island of Ireland. As well as on-air mentions by Phil Spencer and other Classic FM presenters – endorsing Ireland and what a great place it is for a short break or holiday – the videos starring Phil will run on over the coming six weeks. Listeners will be encouraged to visit the Classic FM website, to view the films and to also be in with a chance to win a trip to Ireland. Phil will also tweet about Ireland to his 137,000 followers, from his Twitter handle @PipofftheTV.


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said: ‘Tourism figures so far this year have been very strong, but we cannot afford to be complacent. In order to secure the additional jobs we have created within the sector and to grow additional jobs in the future we must continue to hammer home the message that Ireland is a great place to visit, even if just for a few short days. Nowhere is this message more relevant than with our nearest neighbours in the UK. Having someone of Phil Spencer’s calibre get behind this campaign is very exciting as he reaches out to one of our target markets – the ‘culturally curious’ – in a bid to encourage them to come to Ireland and to see all the wonderful things we have on offer as the winter approaches and the year draws to an end’.


Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘Our end-of-year campaign has been specifically designed to highlight short breaks and holidays in Ireland and to appeal to our ‘culturally curious’ audience in Great Britain. These are independent, active sightseers, who are typically looking to visit new places and expand their experience by exploring landscapes, history and culture. Our promotion with Phil Spencer and Classic FM fits very well with this important demographic and is aimed at boosting late-season travel to Ireland from Great Britain, as well as kick-starting our promotional effort for 2015’.


“Britain is the largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland and we are pleased to see visitor numbers increasing by +9% for January to September of this year, an extra 194,000 British visitors compared with the same nine-month period in 2013. We are determined to ensure that tourism growth continues.”



Notes to Editors:

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.
  • In 2013, we welcomed an estimated 8 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of almost €4 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.